For me, the spiritual path was a confusion of what should be the end game. Like most, we tend to glorify individuals who have accomplished certain esoteric abilities, whether it be the ability to heal, to perceive beyond the norm, or conduct actions beyond our modern scientific understanding.
Those who have acquired certain abilities typically end up with followers, not a bad thing at first, but which may lead to guru worship. We all need gurus, be it our fellow humans, life itself, or that level of perception within beyond identification, we need to remove the obstacles of our ignorance in order to perceive on a wider scale. However, I don't think we need any more golden calves, especially in the age of information. As Nisargadatta Maharaj stated, "Do not look for a guru; do not even think of one. Make your goal your guru. After all, the guru is but a means to an end, not the end itself". In addition, Abhinavagupta in his Sri Tantraloka sets a rather high standard for a guru, where the guru in essence, should be none other than Shiva himself. Shiva does not create or manage creation/matter, he destroys and transcends it. Should one fail to find such a guru, turn to Adi Shakti herself, the feminine aspect of Shiva.
Abhinavagupta further discusses two modes that can be requested for an adept, though does not go into detail, nor is one considered superior to the other. The first category would be that of attaining boons, or Siddhas, many of which mimic the goals of other mystical practices relating to magick. The second is enlightenment, and given the correlation between Advaita and Saiva, enlightenment would be Self-Realization, where the individual ego (jiva), identifies with the cosmic ego (jagat), which then can collapse in itself into the formless bliss of Brahman or the Tao.
This is what separates Enlightenment from Siddhis/Magick, where such boons or abilities, are further illusions within the grand illusion, lila. Moreover, such abilities can not only attach one further into the illusion where it may just be too much fun in conducting such magick, but it would further attach other individuals who become attached to the adept. We've all seen it, we have a programmed tendency, often labelled as "natural", to worship and glorify something, be it our spiritual elders, our leaders, or our celebrities.
Unlike Enlightenment, Siddhis/Magick can similarly push you and others in the path to Self, but the potential for further delusion seems to be substantial. I'm assuming this is why Abhinavagutpa stated to use Adi Shakti who is Ma Kali, the destroyer of ego, the dissolution of all form, as a guide, where such abilities do not become a distraction. Further, occult initiates, including Aleister Crowley all stressed communion with Self labelled the Holy Guardian Angel.
Though the two paths can be different in a sense where the attainable goals are different, where the one Self Realized may not care so much for the realm of illusion other than helping other release their delusions, both paths are an expansion of consciousness. Expanse of consciousness is essentially seeing the illusion in new perspectives that offer a wider glimpse. Though siddhas/magick seem to be graduated steps into widening such perspectives of what is possible within the illusion, Self is as wide as the perspective can get where the illusion is finally dissolved.
The problem for the adept is that, you would have to want Self more than the glittery Siddhi/Magick of illusion. These perspectives often labelled as "blessings" or "gifts" can be extremely inhibiting from reaching to dissolve the "blessings" and "gifts" for Self.
Though many gurus are worshiped, or will give you something to worship, all of such are simply aspects of the Greek Psyche, or the Jungian archetypes of the mind. It seems that the true Enlightened guru will always have you looking within, to discover your own true Self.
When you are learning about the nature of the psyche, an even greater aura of the unknown exists. The unknown portions of the psyche and its greater horizons, therefore, have often been perceived as gods or as the greater psyches out of which the (little) self emerged."
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Overly educated and continuously exploring and revealing more behind the veil.
"It cannot be too highly emphasized that the mystic swims in the same waters in which the psychotic drowns."
-James Wasserman, The Mystery Traditions